The global container ship fleet reached 21 million TEUs of capacity on November 2, according to Alphaliner.
The fleet reached 20 million TEUs nearly two years ago, indicating a slowing in overall fleet capacity growth which averaged a million TEUs every 12 – 13 months between 2000 and 2015.
Increased scrapping between August 2016 and February 2017 led to the slower growth. Approximately 501,000 TEUs of tonnage was scrapped compared to 430,000 TEUs of new tonnage added. Since March this year, some 930,000 TEUs of capacity has been delivered and 230,000 TEUs scrapped.
Alphaliner expects the industry to reach 22 million TEUs within the next 12 months as a result of the delivery of over 80 ships of 10,000-21,000 TEUs capacity.
Alphaliner has also cut its year-end idle container tonnage projection down to 600,000 TEUs from 800,000-1,000,000 TEUs due to buoyant low-season demand.
Container shipping capacity outpaced demand in the third quarter due to the combined effects of new ship deliveries and a reduction in the idle fleet. Global container port volumes grew at 7.7 percent in the third quarter.